After 83 days of testimony, closing arguments are scheduled to begin Tuesday in the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial in Los Angeles.
Michael’s mother, Katherine Jackson, is suing AEG Live, the concert promoter behind his aborted This Is It tour, for 40 billion dollars. She claims AEG contributed to her son’s June 2009 death by hiring Dr. Conrad Murray, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Michael’s death for giving the singer an overdose of the powerful anesthetic propofol.
The judge gave instructions to the jury on Monday.
Legal experts say the Jackson side, which has the burden of proof, must prove that AEG played a role in hiring Dr. Murray and that AEG knew or should have known that Murray would be a negligent doctor. Experts note the AEG defense has to convince the jury that Jackson did not use reasonable care to provide for his own well being and that his failure to do so was a substantial factor in causing his harm.
Jackson family attorney Kevin Boyle believes his side has presented “an extremely compelling case.” “I think the evidence has shown that Michael wasn’t alone in what happened to him,” says Boyle.
AEG attorney Marvin Putnam says the case is without merit because AEG didn’t hire Dr. Murray, who was treating Jackson when he died. Putnam also argues that Jackson bore some personal responsibility for his own choices related to his health.
“When all of this happens he’s a 50-year-old man, very successful. He chose his doctor, he chose his care. He’s a man who understood he was a drug addict. He’d been to rehab.”
Closing arguments are expected to end on Thursday.
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